Hello, friends I'm Lesley from Knit Graffiti Designs!
Knitting is my release, my getaway, the place where I go to breathe and meditate. As a work-at-home-mom, I do freelance Interior Design and take care of my two young boys, ages 4 and 2. In my free time, I enjoy knitting and designing knitwear, and knits for the home. Right now, I am working on learning new knitting techniques, having a diverse handmade wardrobe and being conscious of the materials in which I invest.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Interior Design with a Minor in Fiber Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. This is where my love of knitting and everything fiber related truly began.
I currently work three jobs! In order from most time spent, to I-wish-I-had-more-time:
Job number one: Being a mama. I know, I know, it's not a JOB, it's something that I've wanted and my dreams have come true and I LOOOOVE my kids. But let's face it, I used to work 60 hours a week as an Interior Designer in Manhattan and I NEVER WORKED THIS HARD!!! Being able to stay at home and raise our children was something that my husband and I decided we wanted for our family, and I definitely feel lucky that we can do so. But man, these first few years of toddlerhood are definitely the hardest. There's no sleeping for the first year, and then you have another one and it's like, what is happening right now?? This past year, my 4 year old son started preschool! Granted, it's only two days a week for a few hours in the morning, and most of that time is spent with my 2 year old. But it has been nice to have those quiet mornings, and it gives me a bit of a glimpse into the future (aka both kids are at school all day...WHAT CAN I GET DONE?!)
Job number two: Interior Designer. This is my bread and butter, what I went to school for, my absolute passion. After I graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, I followed my heart and my dreams to New York!! I landed my dream job there, as a commercial Interior Designer at a small firm where I was able to wear all the hats, designing commercial offices and retail stores. Scoot ahead 5 years, met and married my husband, and pregnant with my first - my husband's job brought us back to Michigan (where I mostly grew up)! I kept in touch with the design firm where I worked in Manhattan, and still do freelance work for them remotely. It's so nice to be able to keep my hand in Interiors work, because I may end up wanting to go back to work full-time once my children are all in school.
Job number three:
Knitting and Designing. Ok ok ok, I would hardly call knitting a JOB because I live, eat and breathe YARN (don't we all??). But I am beginning to create a small business selling my knitting patterns on Ravelry, and I couldn't be more excited about this! As a student at the College for Creative Studies, I majored in Interior Design, but I graduated with a minor in Fiber Design! CCS is primarily an Arts and Crafts school, so fibers is actually a major there. I stumbled across it in one class that was required for my Interiors degree, and I was hooked. I tried everything, from weaving (which was my biggest love in college) to dyeing to batik to knitting to sewing....all of it. I actually didn't really get into knitting until after I graduated! And it has just been this past year that I have been knitting non-stop. If I'm sitting, I'm knitting. If my kids are occupied, I'm knitting. If they're playing outside, I bring my knitting. When I'm waiting in the car line to pick up my son from school, I'm knitting. Isn't it great how portable it is? I usually have at least 4-5 different projects going on, from a couple of my own designs, to other designer's work. I love learning new techniques, working with indie dyers, and collaborating with other fiber artists. In case you haven't noticed already, brioche knitting is my current OBSESSION. I seriously always need to have at least one project on my needles that is brioche. Have you seen Stephen West's new Bundled in Brioche
collection?? I learned brioche from him, and Nancy Marchant
and her book, Knitting Fresh Brioche
. My first brioche project ever? Ferocious Briocheous
, by Stephen West. Endless one-color brioche all wrapped up in a cowl. The ultimate repetition. Then I knit the Willow
shawl, designed by Nancy Marchant, and I was hooked for LIFE.
Now the biggest question: How do I find balance between all of these responsibilities? (Let's not even mention all the things that go along with be a WAHM, like housework, cooking, grocery shopping, raking the leaves, etc.) My husband and I both work from home, so we are able to find a healthy balance of work and home life together, and I am eternally grateful for this during the early stages of our children's lives. But soon, my husband will be going back to working outside the home full-time, and I will be a true WAHM......all me, by myself. As my children get older, I find that the balance gets easier and they have much more independent playtime. I think the key to finding balance is flexibility. I don't have a set schedule or routine every day, except for snack and meal times. I squeeze in work when I can, and usually I work when the kids are in bed. Isn't that usually the story? But it's so true!! Evenings are my productive time!
One thing I ALWAYS tell other moms, especially new moms: It's so easy to lose our identity when we become a mom. Don't forget who you are, and who you want to be. Not only is this important just for our own happiness, it's so important for our children to see us happy and learn from that! My kids see me knitting, it's part of my identity for them. I love that! I'm not saying everyone should knit (I mean, come on, you should though!), but find that THING that makes you so happy, and make time for it every day! For me, that's knitting. It brings me calm in the storms of a messy living room with blocks everywhere, and solace in the screams of a 2 year old tantrum. And how cool is it that I can actually support my family doing this? How cool. Thank you for reading along, I hope that you can find the thing that makes you the happiest, if you haven't already.
You can fine Lesley on Instagram @knitgraffiti
Ravelry Shop: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/lesley-anne-robinson
Lesley is offering an awesome promotion to readers now through the month of May! Check out the POP! e-book, her newest collection of brioche lace goodies! Use the coupon code "POPWAHM" and receive $1 off this e-book, or any of the individual patterns - Pop Fizzle, Pop Twizzle or Sizzle Pop!
Is there a work at home mom in the fiber arts you would like to hear from? Leave a comment below and I will do my best to represent them on the series!